Incredible firecracker chicken meatballs made with flavorful spices and served with a creamy cilantro coconut pineapple rice. These healthy firecracker chicken meatballs are spicy, sweet, savory and make an incredible one pan meal. Easily made gluten free and perfect for meal prep!
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound lean ground chicken (or GF lean ground turkey)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (or GF 2 tablespoons coconut flour)
- ¼ cup very finely diced white onion
- ⅓ cup finely diced cilantro
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- ½ tablespoon hot sauce of choice
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the rice:
- ¾ cup jasmine or basmati white rice
- 1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk
- 1 cup heaping cup frozen or fresh pineapple chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- ¼ cup finely diced cilantro
- Scallions (green part of green onion only)
In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, hot sauce, soy sauce, coconut sugar, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Use clean hands to mix and form into 16 golf ball sized meatballs.
- Place a large deep skillet over medium-high heat and add in olive oil. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes total. You may need to do this in batches, depending on how many meatballs you can fit in your skillet without overcrowding them. When meatballs are done browning, transfer to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the coconut milk and pineapple; stir in the rice, then add the meatballs back in and bring to a nice simmer. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the lid and add in red bell pepper. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes to help tenderize the bell peppers.
- To finish it off, add in cilantro over rice and meatballs. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. Garnish with scallions.
- To make this grain free or low carb: use cauliflower rice instead of regular rice.
- To freeze:
- Bake first, then freeze: simply place your meatballs and sauce in a freezer safe, airtight container or bag and freeze it all for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let your container of meatballs + sauce thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, and then empty the contents into a pan on the stovetop. Heat them in your pan until they’re nice and warm, and then serve!
- Freeze before baking: you can also freeze these meatballs before cooking them! Form your meatballs as instructed, place them on a baking sheet, and put them in the freezer for 1-2 hours. This is called a flash freeze. Then, transfer your frozen meatballs to an airtight, freezer-friendly bag or container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw them, simply place them in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight and then cook them as directed in the recipe.